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Agri-tours

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The senior mangager is considering a trip to look around the farming areas of South America. One company we found with a possible itinerary for them was Agri-tours out of Ontario . Has anyone had any experience with them? good or bad?
Author :          Agriville User
Date Posted : 2/7/2008 5:26:34 AM
Re: Agri-tours Report this Message    |   Reply to this Message
if this is Bob Thomas's outfit I can comment...went on trip to Brazil and Argentina about four years ago, excellent, just got as recent flyer in seducer and they have expanded the options and include Australia...and the food was great and different...was a real eye opener...we have nothing on them in terms of technology and practices...
Date Posted : 2/7/2008 5:30:14 AM
Bob Thomas Writes on Farms.com - here is one. Report this Message    |   Reply to this Message
From the Galapagos to Brazil's Rainforest

By Bob Thomas, AgriTours

It was drizzling rain when our plane touched down in Quito…..but it was a happy occasion because my wife Marge was joining the Ag group for our tour of the Galapagos Islands.

Bob and Marge with a resident of the Galapogos

Clustered on the equator, these islands initially appear bleak and desolate. A USA air force base located here used to protect the Panama Canal during WW II, but the facility has now been converted for commercial aircraft. Following a 45 km bus / boat / bus ride to the small town of Porto Ayora, we settled into a cozy local hotel for 4 days of excursions by boat and cramped van to various locales. Formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, species of fowl, fish, and animals exist here which are not present in any other areas of the world. Examples include the blue footed boobies, giant tortoises and strange lizards. The Darwin Institute continues to research this evolution and safeguard against encroaching environmental damage and an ever increasing level of tourism. But Galapagos remains a unique “must see” before we return to Miami to commence the Brazil / Argentina Ag-Venture with the next tour group.

With our new group of travelers, we headed to Brazil’s Amazonia - another “can’t miss” destination when visiting South America. Our group of 29 (led by Marge & me) first spent some time at the Amazon Ecopark lodge located on the Rio Negra River. It’s an unforgettable experience to leave the cabin shutters open overnight and listen to the jungle night sounds immediately outside. Guided boat tours by day to a monkey rehabilitation site, a typical native village, alligator spotting by moonlight, fishing for piranha or seeing the “meeting of the waters” cannot be experienced elsewhere. Despite some misconceptions the rainforest remains alive and well. The Amazon River is the largest fresh water river in the world and traces to two distinctly different sources. The acid, black waters of the Rio Negra start in Colombia and run side by side for several kilometers before blending into the muddy River Solomoes coming from Peru and Ecuador. Manaus has a thriving port for ocean vessels and has become a tax-free Mecca of manufactured and imported goods. Tourism to this area is the No. 1 economic force.



But, with everyone acclimatized to Brazil’s steamy temperatures, local cuisine and biodiversity of cultures, it is now time to head into Bahia state’s vast agricultural scene.



Abracos
Bob & Marge

Bob Thomas has a strong background in agriculture, having worked in agri-lending and operating a family fruit farm in Southern Ontario, Canada. He has also written extensively for leading farm media publications. He has been offering Ag-Venture tours to South America and other destinations for many years. For more information, go to www.rwthomastours.com or call 519-633-2390.
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This commentary is for informational purposes only. The opinions and comments expressed herein represent the opinions of the author--they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Farms.com. This commentary is not intended to provide individual advice to anyone. Farms.com will not be liable for any errors or omissions in the information, or for any damages or losses in any way related to this commentary.



Click here to view my archived commentaries.
To comment, e-mail: rwthomas@sympatico.ca
Date Posted : 3/21/2008 9:49:02 PM
Re: Agri-tours Report this Message    |   Reply to this Message
I just got back frrom South America & found this chat on Farms.com. I have been doing a blog on our ag tours there over the past couple of months. If anyone would like more specific info on the South American ag scene, please contact me at rwthomas@sympatico.ca or go to my website at www.rwthomastours.com...............be sure to check out the Gallery of photos from past tours.
Will be putting together the 2009 itinerary & tours soon. Keep posted.
Thanks
Bob Thomas
RW Thomas Inc.
Link/URL:   http://www.rwthomastours.com
Author :          Bob Thomas
Date Posted : 3/24/2008 4:24:05 PM
Bob Thomas Agritours Story: Trip to Chile Report this Message    |   Reply to this Message
Author: Bob Thomas, The Agri Traveler
Chile’s agriculture a success story


It’s perhaps ironic that the indigenous word Chile means “end of the world”. It might be more appropriate to refer to this country of 17 million in terms of “a new beginning”……at least since democracy returned in 1989 following 16 years of military dictatorship under the controversial Pinochet. Mining revenue, mostly from copper, accounts for 22% of the economy’s GDP of U$ 163 billion. Unemployment remains relatively low at 6.9%, and despite the lack of a domestic energy source (oil is imported from Argentina), the inflation rate has been kept to 7.5%. With 50 trade agreements in place with nations around the world, mining accounts for 50% of export earnings, and forestry follows at 22%.



Although agriculture accounts for only 4.5% of the economy, it is a success story to be emulated. With desert to the north, glaciers at the south, the Andes mountain range on the east and a 2000 km coastline along the Pacific, Chile is privileged with a natural phtyo-sanitary environment that is stringently enforced at its borders. When disease wiped out France’s Carmene strain of wine grapes, it was Chile that was able to continue cultivating this preferred stock from vines imported long ago. Viniculture occupies 120,000 ha in Chile with 60% of the wine being exported. Another 220,000 ha are planted to a wide range of other fruits.



A typical Chilean grower is a top notch professional with technical data at their fingertips. Like Susumu Sugiura who grows almonds, lukuma (a fruit used for pastry and ice cream), and a mainstay of avocados. Using trickle irrigation from 30 m wells, this third generation Japanese university grad exudes devotion and passion for his profession. “My grandfather came to Chile and planned to stay for a couple of months………..but he never left,” laughs the 35 yr old father of three as he answers another technical question from my ag group touring farms in Chile. From the rich irrigated valleys to the rugged mountains snaked with rivers, it’s easy to understand why anyone could fall in love with Chile.









I’m presently heading north by bus along the starkly beautiful rocky coastline on Hwy 5 which is part of the Pan American highway. We’re passing rows of what looks like cacti in this very dry region, but these plants are actually producing “tuna” which is a sweet fruit delicacy. My destination: the town of Vicuna in the Elqui valley which is one of my favorite locations in South America. Until my next letter from South America,



Abracos



Bob



Bob Thomas has a strong background in agriculture, having worked in agri-lending and operating a family fruit farm in Southern Ontario, Canada. He has also written extensively for leading farm media publications. He has been offering Ag-Venture tours to South America and other destinations since 1991. For more information, go to www.rwthomastours.com or call 519-633-2390.

This commentary is for informational purposes only. The opinions and comments expressed herein represent the opinions of the author--they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Farms.com. This commentary is not intended to provide individual advice to anyone. Farms.com will not be liable for any errors or omissions in the information, or for any damages or losses in any way related to this commentary.

Click here to view my archived commentaries.
To comment, e-mail: rwthomas@sympatico.ca

Link/URL:   http://www.rwthomastours.com
Author :          Joe Dales
Date Posted : 3/26/2008 9:35:42 PM
Where would you go during summer and winter? Report this Message    |   Reply to this Message
Hi Bob:

I have not been outside of North America but would like to start travelling globally a little more over the next few years....I like the idea of agriculture tours and travel.

Would you recommend a couple of places you would go during our summer and during our winter and why.

I am going to check out your website as well.

Thanks,

B
Date Posted : 3/26/2008 9:47:04 PM
Re: Agri-tours Report this Message    |   Reply to this Message
My wife and I toured Costa Rica in November 2008 and have really good conections there for farm tours for more info please give us an email. tsbonertz@jrtwave.com

Terry
Date Posted : 12/11/2008 5:43:54 PM
Re: Agri-tours to China?? Report this Message    |   Reply to this Message
We have 25 agricultural industrial experience in Canada, Europe and China.

We organized a successful agriculture business tour to China last year.

We am planing more agr-tour to China in 2009.

If you are interested in, please contact us
Date Posted : 1/1/2009 11:02:32 AM
Re: Agri-tours Report this Message    |   Reply to this Message
If anybody is interested, we organize farm and agricultural tours and trips around the country - visiting dairy farms and cheese factories, horse farms, hereford, brangus, corriedale ranches, rise or soy crops farms, wineries, etc. - tours are custom made depending on the interest of the group. Also organize visits to different farms and ranches in Argentina, south of Brazil, Paraguay and Chile.
Date Posted : 2/17/2011 11:48:14 AM
Re: Re: Agri-tours Report this Message    |   Reply to this Message
We are based in Uruguay, South America
Date Posted : 2/17/2011 11:50:00 AM
  
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